Exit Thread

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Objects left in the garage or the attic tend to multiply. If you don’t clean them regularly, you find mysterious and inexplicable things have bred like rabbits. “Why is there a bag of marbles in this box, and when did I ever buy an ugly Christmas sweater?”

Without regular refactoring, the same thing can happen to your code-base. Michal is finally taking a look at a bit of code that hasn’t been touched since 2001. The original developer has left the company, there’s no documentation, and the SVN history has long since been discarded.

The Inner JSON Effect

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Jake eagerly stepped into his new job, grateful for more experience and new challenges, craving to learn new software stacks and see what his new company had to teach him about the world of software.

They told him he’d be working on some websites, dealing with JavaScript, Node.js, JSON, and the like. It sounded pretty reasonable for web development, except for the non-technical interviewer’s comment that it was all “built on top of Subversion” which he assumed was a simple misunderstanding.

It's Log, Log, Log

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Logarithm keys

Reader Bernie submits for our approval this wonderful C# log base 2 implementation. He says: “We can distinguish two halves in that code. It looks like it was originally written for an unsigned 16-bit int, and later on extended for signed 32-bit integers.”

The Missing Source

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Source code project 1171

The year was 2006. Nelly Furtado was getting promiscuous, the Winter Olympics were in Italy, and Domino was an application developer for Rocketware, a company that produced multimedia applications. Back then, applications were still commonly distributed on CD-ROMs: small round disks of plastic that contained grooves that could be read by a specialized laser and interpreted as data. This was handy in a period when only 30% of Americans had broadband Internet.

Wait...Press What?!

by in Error'd on

"Um, I'm not sure the programmers and the engineers were working together on this one," wrote Rob.

The Keys to Cloud Storage

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When you want to store data in Amazon’s S3 cloud-based storage, you have to assign that data a key. In practice, this looks and behaves like a filename, but the underlying APIs treat it like a key/value store, where the value can be a large data object.

S3 is flexible and cost-effective enough that Melinda’s company decided to use it for logging HTTP requests to their application. These requests often contained large data files for upload, and those files might need to be referenced in the future, so a persistent and reliable storage was important.

Not A Fan

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Red computer cooling fan

Larry worked in the IT department of a medium-sized financial company. Bright and early on what should have been a promising day, the phone rang. Larry cursed the caller ID for informing him that Graham was on the line. The resident old man of the office and bane of IT, he frequently disregarded sound advice and policy to satisfy his own whims.


by in CodeSOD on

How about those NoSQL databases, huh? There’s nothing more trendy than a NoSQL database, and while they lack many of the features that make a traditional RDBMS desirable (like, um… guaranteeing writes?) , they compensate by being more scalable and easier to integrate into an application.

Chuck D’s company made a big deal out of migrating their data to a more “modern”, “JSON-based” solution. Chuck wasn’t involved in that project, but after the result went live, he got roped in to diagnose a problem: the migration of data from the old to the new database created duplicate records. Many duplicates. So he took a look at the migration script, and found piles of code that looked like this: